Greenhouse Expansion and New Environmental Education Center - Help Us Expand!
Environmental Education has always been at the core of what we do. From our humble beginnings in 1970, the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Species Collection at Ball State University has become a destination for orchids, conservation, and nature education. Currently celebrating 50 years, the greenhouse and orchid collection offers a variety of programs year-round to groups of all ages.
COMING SOON! The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse is located in Christy Woods. To enhance the opportunities for nature education at Christy Woods and other BSU Field Station properties, we are increasing the size of the greenhouse and creating a dedicated community learning space. Children from 2-100 years old will benefit from our expanded educational programs. Our enlarged tropical Conservatory will take you deeper into the tropical jungle to see incredible plants and amazing animals. Come experience the largest collegiate Orchid species collection in the country! Our new Center will provide a vibrant space to experience nature in an immersive and hands-on learning environment!
In 2019, over 10,000 visitors came to the Ball State University Field Station properties, which includes the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, Christy Woods, and other outdoor properties. Over 6,000 of those casual visitors enjoyed the orchids and other biological wonders. In addition, over 3,000 visitors took part in programs that meet state and national science standards. We anticipate even greater visitation in the future and are excited about growing our contribution to the young minds of our region, the Ball State University students, and community members from Muncie and East-Central Indiana.
We are 90% of the way to our goal for this project. Groundbreaking will take place in April of this year, and need your help to take our project from Good to GREAT! Our timeline is to complete the project by Spring 2022.